A Separate Peace

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Expository Essay for A Separate Peace Within the novel A Separate Peace, there were many literary elements included by the author, John Knowles, in order to help reinforce the reader’s understanding of the main theme. While there were abundant examples of personification, similes, and metaphors, one of the literary elements that Knowles seemed to use the most was binary oppositions. Binaries were located in some of the most crucial parts of the plot and clearly, were very important to the progression of the novel. The author used binaries in this book to better communicate and demonstrate the struggles that the main character faced on his journey from boyhood into the adult world. One of the most important binaries which I thought had a major impact throughout the book was Friendship vs. Envy/Hatred. I felt that this specific binary was the pinnacle binary of the whole novel as it captured the relationship between the two main characters, Finny and Gene. More specifically, in the book Gene was responsible for most of the Hatred/Envy, and Finny was more accountable for the friendship part. I feel that one of the quotes which best described Finny’s attitude towards his relationship with Gene was, “I hope that you are having a pretty good time here. I know I kind of dragged you away at the point of a gun, but after all, you can’t come to the shore with just anybody and you can’t come by yourself, and at this teen-age period in life the proper person is your best pal (Knowles 40).” In this quote, Finny tells Gene that he is grateful to Gene for being his best friend. This shows that Finny is actually a true friend and is not as selfish as he may appear. However, Finny is also a little envious of Gene’s academic abilities and this next quote helps to illustrate this fact, “I’d kill myself out of jealous envy (Knowles 44).” Even though Finny says this in a joking
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